THE BOSTON VIRUS, No. 84: THE DESECRATION OF THE TOMB OF CARDINAL O’CONNELL

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Diocesan Demolition: Tomb of Cardinal O’Connell

bostoncatholicinsider | August 2, 2011 at 11:13 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/pYaYk-L2

BCI has been writing about the moral, ethical, and fiscal demolition of the Boston Archdiocese and squandering of patrimony for more than a year now.  For those who find it difficult to believe that all of the astonishing things we write about at BCI are really happening–and they are– we offer today an unexpected continuation of our series on the relocation of the remains of the late Cardinal O’Connell by showing you a few pictures of the physical demolition of the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

To be fair, the land is owned by Boston College and BCI is not sure of exactly who retained and managed the demolition crew.  Here, once again, are two photos of the chapel before the demolition, and then several pictures sent to us yesterday by “Brighton Neighbor” from during and after the demolition.

 

The 1944 photo below, by the Boston Globe, shows the chapel where Cardinal O’Connell was buried in a crypt beneath the floorboards.

 

This photograph was taken on April 28, 1944, just before the cardinal’s burial later that same day. Note the statues of the angels and the long staffs in the arms of the angels.

Below are pictures of the site after the chapel was demolished.
Note the fallen angels with the staffs broken.

Note the broken cross below:

War zone?

Interestingly, in other states and other circumstances, it is a crime to damage a religious statue.  In Pennsylvania in 2008, 2 men were charged with destroying an angel statue after they “stole a beloved winged statue from a Berks County shrine, cut it up, and sold the pieces for scrap metal.”  In December of 2010, this ABC News report describes how a Texas man was arrested and charged with criminal mischief for destroying two statues at a southeast Houston church.  According to court documents, the man was “accused of destroying an angel in front of Queen at Peace Catholic Church..He’s also accused of decapitating the head and breaking off the hands of one of the church’s Our Lady of Guadalupe statues.”

 

BCI is appalled at the clear evidence of disrespect shown for these sacred statues and objects by those responsible for removing the chapel. How can faithful Catholics be asked to trust our Catholic leaders? Were there no other efforts possible and practical to preserve these statues and the cross, so that perhaps they could have been used at the new burial location or elsewhere?  Fr. Leahy at Boston College and the leaders at the Archdiocese of Boston (to the extent they were involved in this) owe an explanation to the faithful for why they allowed this to happen, what the consequences will be, and what steps are being taken to ensure that all sacred objects from religious buildings that are no longer kept open are preserved for use elsewhere and treated with the appropriate degree of respect.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
This entry was posted in CANON LAW, CHURCH ARCHITECTURE, DESECRATION, LIBERALISM, MORAL RELATIVISM, THE BOSTON ARCHDIOCESE. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to THE BOSTON VIRUS, No. 84: THE DESECRATION OF THE TOMB OF CARDINAL O’CONNELL

  1. 125gardener says:

    First, I do not understand why the tomb was bulldozed into rubble. There must be an essential building project planned?

    Second, I am appalled that the cross and angel statues, works of religious art, were left as rubble.
    Boston College campus, schools in the Dioscese or some other dioscese, could benefit from the two beautiful statues gracing an entrance. I wonder about the desecration in the eyes of God. I wonder how well the First Commandment is kept at this institution. I wonder whether the art in closed churches will ever grace Catholic schools for the benefit of children and teachers in Catholic education.

    I care about the level of care shown in moving Cardinal O’Connell’s tomb.

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